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  • Pilot Scheme to Build on Connections and Knowledge Exchange

Pilot Scheme to Build on Connections and Knowledge Exchange

Mar 30 2018 Read 725 Times

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced on behalf of Research Councils UK (RCUK), a new initiative intended to improve knowledge sharing between research universities and the Catapults.

Over the life of the pilot it is anticipated that the RCUK Catapult Researchers in Residence (RiR) initiative will support up to 52 awards linked to nine Catapults and will be funded to a total of £2.6 million.

Several Research Councils, (AHRC, EPSRC, ESRC and NERC) have been involved in the development of this pilot activity that seeks to support the development of new collaborations through research visits/residencies for academics to spend time at Catapults.

This initiative builds on previous 'people exchange' activities led by EPSRC and the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) and Digital Catapults, as well as NERC and the Future Cities and Satellite Applications Catapults. Research Councils have now broadened this approach across the Catapult family and participating RCs' remits, to provide a single model for access to funding.

Announcing the awards Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC's Chief Executive and Chair of Research Councils UK said: The movement of people is widely acknowledged as one of the most effective ways of exchanging knowledge. Improving interaction between researchers and users has been a focus for Research Councils for many years. By stimulating the flow of people and skills in the innovation system, these Researcher in Residence positions will help accelerate impact and enable our world leading researchers to maximise the impacts of their research.

The aims of the RiR initiative are to:

Accelerate the impact of Research Council-funded research

Increase knowledge exchange and co-creation between academia and Catapult centres

Develop new collaborations between academia and Catapult centres

Expand the capabilities and knowledge of the Catapults

Nurturing talents and skills development of researchers and Catapult staff

Create a cohort of RiRs, able to share their experiences with a wider network of academics

The first tranche of Researchers in Residence successfully recruited against this pilot activity have now been funded (18 awards in total) and a second round of RiR opportunities recently closed last week. Further opportunities will continue to be available through 2018, for information visit the RiR page at

Many of the challenges identified require researchers to be working at the interfaces and across the Catapults delivered either through the allocation of awards jointly supported between Catapults or through joint awards led by one Catapult on behalf of others. Details of the first tranche of 18 awards supported through this activity are available on the website.

The Digital Catapult, the ninth centre engaged in this activity will be supporting its RiR projects through subsequent rounds.Each RiR award has a total grant value of £50,000 and the grant may last up to four years in duration; with the Principal Investigator having flexibility to manage these funds in the most effective way to deliver their RiRproject.

The funds are to be used to cover their related costs for their RiR visits to the Catapult(s) and are limited to salary costs for each residence, travel and subsistence for their visits as well as costs for any RiR related consumables used at the Catapult(s)

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